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The veteran pacer National Debt dashed to the lead early and kept control through the finish of the $10,000 Preferred Handicap at Rideau Carleton Raceway on Sunday night (April 9).

Leaving from Post 4, driver Pascal Berube cleared command with National Debt to a :27.1 first quarter and then cruised to the half in :56.3. He quickened the pace to three-quarters in 1:24.2 as odds-on favourite The Light Speed made a move first over and into second. The Light Speed continued digging into the pacesetter spinning for home but National Debt fought forward and kept a half length in front at the end of a 1:51.4 mile. Lovemyrockinbird sat a pocket trip to finish third and Best Honey Hanover finished fourth.

A 12-year-old stallion by Allamerican Native, National Debt won his 89th race from 252 starts and has now earned $745,538. Yves Tessier trains the $5.30 winner.

On the 10-race card, trainers Victor Puddy and Mandy Archer dominated.

Puddy began the night with a sweep of the early double by Lachlanonthe Beach (1:53.3 winning mile; $2.60 to win) and Tahuya Brew (1:56.1; $2.70) before later wrapping his hat trick with a win by Mayhem Like Me (1:54.1; $4.70).

Archer, meanwhile, hit a natural grand slam, winning four consecutive races with Speak Of War (1:56.2; $2.70), then with Hunting Angels (1:56.1; $8.60), then with Smilingbillythekid (1:55.2; $3.50) and finally with Assassins Creed (1:54.1; $6.70).